Friday, December 11, 2009

Happy Birthday, Honey...

Since I couldn't afford a gift this year, here, take my identity instead.

Kidding. Partially.

When I married my Ex I was 24, and I took his last name because I loved his family, and the idea didn't really bother me at first. Turns out there was only ONE person in the area with my first and maiden name, me, and in one physician's practice alone with my married name I was one of ten.

That was a bit annoying. I put it aside.

One thing that did bother me a bit more as time passed was that I had been the last member of my family with my maiden name. There were no boys to pass it down. I don't know why this matters to anyone, let alone to me, but it did. When we finally divorced one of the very first things I did was to take my paperwork down to the county courthouse and get my name back. I swore with God as my witness I would never go hungry again give up my name again.

This apparently bothered Coyote, as my previous married name went well with Julie (The Weasel). Eventually though, Summerell gave her the chance to create the moniker, Summerkins, which is much more fun anyway.

It was a bit of a pain in the ass to get my name back and have to contact everyone under the sun and provide proof of the action so they would change my name on accounts etc. As a matter of fact, my bank has Summerell on all of my accounts, even on my online banking page, but every email I receive from them is addressed to Julie (Former Married Name). THAT pisses me off. No one there has any idea why.

So when Rich and I decided to get hitched I told him flat out I was keeping my name. I could tell he was a bit hurt, but I informed him that I had done too much work to get it back and I wouldn't be giving it up again. I refused to hyphenate because my name already has nine freaking letters in it and barely fits on signature lines. My mother, who works in a school system, strongly urged me to take his name since we planned on having a kid. She said it's a total pain in the ass dealing with multiple names in a household. I didn't care. MY name. Mine.

When we had Livvie, however, her name was hyphenated up until the moment I filled out the birth certificate in the hospital. Rich wasn't there, and when I got to the box for last name I simply used his. My mother's plea had sunk in, and I was imagining a school system dealing with three last names. Yeah. No. I also pictured HER having to sign all of that in the future if they hadn't yet gotten around to microchipping and scanning us all. When the horrid woman who deals with those matters brought the certificate copy to me Rich told me I had forgotten to hyphenate her. I told him I had done it on purpose.

Jonas, naturally, was given Rich's last name alone from the get go after that.

So for the past 4 years of marriage I've been puttering around with MY name. Everyone was informed I was keeping it. All of my correspondence includes it. Am I addressed this way? Most of the time. However, every older member of my family, and ALL of Rich's family, sends me mail and checks written to Julie (His Last Name).

Holy Shitballs did that piss me off. Every check I had to endorse pissed me off. I eventually just resigned myself to the whole deal until one day I was depositing one, and the teller helpfully said, "We have name change forms in here if you need to fill one out," and I said, "No. I did not change my name. They're ignoring that."

She (helpfully) shut up.

Many doctor visits since Livvie and Jonas were born have resulted in many phone calls, and every single time I pick up the phone I hear, "Mrs. _____?" In the beginning I would say, "This is Ms. Summerell, _____'s mother," and they would apologize and continue the call. After Captain Reflux was born, however, I was dealing with doctor calls constantly. I got to the point where I stopped correcting them and simply sighed and said, "Yes." Utility companies too. It was just easier.

The other day a package for the kids arrived from Rich's dad's girlfriend, and it was addressed to Julie _____. I picked it up and yelled, "FINE!!!!" I'm sure our new neighbors were delighted.

So today I sent a check for certified copies of our marriage certificate to take to Social Security. When I get my new card I can then go to the DMV and get my new license. Then I get to again contact everyone under the sun to inform them of the change.

And it doesn't bother me in the least. It will be nice having the same name as my kids. I'll have a signature that fits on charge slips. I'll also have a somewhat silly last name. That bit sort of doesn't matter, though, as I am using mine for writing purposes and on Facebook and the like. Rich's company used to check potential employees out, and if they had social networking pages they didn't hire them. I don't know if that's still the case, but I don't think they need to find his last name on my pages. I am also leaving my email address the same.


He came home today and said, "Hello Mrs. _____."

I told him to shut up.

I'm still not comfortable with the whole "Mrs." thing.


Marybeth said...

When I got married, there was no question I would take his name. Although it ment going from 5 letters to 9. I figured when we had kids, I would want the same last name as them. (and honestly ... I always believed when people got married, the wife took the husbands name. My mother did it, her mother did it and so on and so on). Now that my divorce lingers, I have decided to take back my maiden name. If for no other reason, but for the principle behind a comment he had made. We had friends get married. She did not take her husbands name, although their child had his name. (I would keep his name after the divorce if we had children-we do not, so I'm ditching his name)His comment was "You know she's not in it for the long haul because she didn't change her name!" Well, I was in my marriage for the long haul. I changed my name, was willing to forgive an affair and he still choose to drop and run. So I'm taking MY name back. Now the thought of changing everything SS card, drivers license, passport, utilities, banks accounts, credit cards etc etc etc (if I forgot anything, please tell me. lol)doesn't thrill me. But I'm willing to do it because he acted shocked when I told him I wanted my maiden name back.

Stacia said...

The name thing is something that can definitely get under the skin and irritate the hell out of us. I have found myself to be envious of men for the simple reason that they NEVER have to deal with it. When I realized I was getting divorced, right after the plethora of thoughts like: Can I keep my house? He better not even think for a second he's taking any of the animals! I can't believe I put up with this crap for 12 years to end in divorce anyway! ... came along the thought, "I am getting MY name back dammit!" It was of astronomical importance to change my name back, and I did... and I still have to correct people who refuse to purge the old name... and hear the comment fairly often, "Oh, did you get married?" Geez, maybe should have written a post about this myself because I could go on and on...
Good Luck with the transition J.

Anonymous said...

When we got married I took DH's last name BUT I hyphenated my maiden name into my middle name. My original plan was to be Cheryl Ann K****k G***s with no hyphens but when I went to the Secretary of State office they told me I had to hyphenate either my middle name or my last name. DH was completely opposed to me hyphenating my last name so I just added my maiden name to my middle name. We don't have kids but I can see where that would make a huge difference.

Julie said...

Beth, I prefer your maiden name anyway. It's a VERY cool name. Get an extra certified copy of the name change paperwork in case you use paypal. they require one. they wouldn't take a photocopy of mine. at least back in 2001. therefore my paypal account still has my ex's last name.

Stacia, I got an email from "Stacia _____" and thought, "uh oh." LOL

Cheryl, I thought about doing that, but I dunno. LONG signature.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, it does make for a long signature but I only use my entire name on legal documents; for every day use it's just Cheryl G***s.

The cool thing about having my maiden name on my drivers license is that I don't have any problems with things that are still in my maiden name (JC Penny comes to mind ~ they wouldn't just change the name on my account; wanted me to close my credit card and apply for a new one. I just didn't bother).

Dagny said...

I'm taking back my original finnish last name.

Not quite the same, but you have spurred me on. nothing in common with good old mom, so yeah. :D

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